The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a single invention relating to a 3D camera that could be used with a wide variety of mobile and stationary computers. One aspect of the invention covers a unique desktop stand with a virtual projector attached.
Granted Patent: 3D Camera Accessory for Angled Viewing and Virtual Projection
Apple's newly granted patent generally relates to a camera accessory that may be configured to facilitate the capture of three-dimensional image data using a single camera with a split field of view or using multiple cameras that are simultaneously coupled to the camera accessory.
A front-facing camera may be formed on the front surface and a rear-facing camera may be formed on the rear surface. The camera accessory may be provided with rotational detents that allow the camera accessory to be placed in a desired rotational orientation relative to the electronic device. Magnetic structures may also be configured to allow adjustment of the rotational orientation of the camera accessory.
Further in respect to Apple's patent FIG. 22, component 134 of this rotational stand may provide illumination for a user, may include a projector for projecting images, and may include a camera or other sensor for detecting user input (e.g., from a user's fingers). Using this equipment, component 134 can implement a virtual keyboard such as keyboard 138, as illustrated by projected light 136 from component 134.
Different is the fact that optional lenses may be included to modify the field of view of this next-gen camera for computer devices.
In another feature Apple notes that the "Control circuitry of device may display image data such as the image data captured simultaneously using front-facing camera and rear-facing camera using a split-screen layout or other layout that can accommodate multiple simultaneous images.
The camera system may apply to a wide variety of future hardware including: a laptop computer, a computer monitor containing an embedded computer, a tablet computer, a cellular telephone, a media player, or other handheld or portable electronic device, a smaller device such as a wrist-watch device, a pendant device, a headphone or earpiece device, or other wearable or miniature device, a television, a computer display that does not contain an embedded computer, a gaming device, a navigation device, an embedded system such as a system in which electronic equipment with a display is mounted in a kiosk or automobile, equipment that implements the functionality of two or more of these devices, or other electronic equipment.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q3 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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